Tagged: Angel Guzman

7/14 Cubs Inbox

It’s been tough to sqeeze the Cubs Inbox onto Cubs.com, so I’ll try to keep up here. Send your questions to CubsInbox@gmail.com and please include your name and hometown.

Q: With Bryan LaHair crushing the ball in Triple-A and Carlos Pena struggling with consistency, are the Cubs giving any thought to bringing LaHair up to the big league team? — Nick I., Evansville, IN

A: LaHair could get a look depending on what happens at the trade deadline. Pena has drawn interest from teams in contention (Angels, for example). LaHair will likely be up in September when rosters expand.

Q: I don’t understand why Darwin Barney was moved to the No. 8 spot. He hit .290 in the two-hole. I see the logic in the move when Fukudome is in the lineup but when Reed Johnson is, I don’t get it. Johnson has a career .341 OBP, identical to Castro’s. I realize Johnson is hot right now but what’s going to happen when he cools off? Ryan S., Rochester, MI

A: There’s a couple reasons. One, Barney is coming back from a knee injury. If he’s batting second, he’ll be expected to run more. They’re trying to avoid stress on the knee. Two, Starlin Castro has done better hitting one-two. With Fukudome doing well as the leadoff man, moving Castro up a notch seems to help him. Three, Barney can help turn the lineup over in the bottom of the order. His role changes depending on pinch-hitters behind him. As for Johnson, his starts are primarily against lefties.

Q: I was looking through some of the Cubs’ Minor League rosters and was happy to see Angel Guzman has logged innings at Daytona and Peoria. I also noticed he’s starting each game he appeared in. Are the Cubs grooming him to be a starter again or is this part of his rehab? — Henry F., Batavia, IL

A: Guzman, coming back from shoulder surgery, is starting in the Minor Leagues as part of his rehab. It’s easier to control when he can pitch if he starts the game rather than having him enter a game in relief. This way, he’s guaranteed two innings, or however many pitches they are limiting him to. If he returns, it will be as a reliever.

— Carrie Muskat

6/11 Minor League report

Jeff Baker hit a RBI triple in the seventh inning for Iowa in Friday’s 7-6, 10-inning loss to Round Rock in front of 8,047 in Des Moines. Reed Johnson (back spasms) was 0-for-3, while Baker (groin) was 1-for-4. The two are on rehab assignments and both plan on being activated Monday when the Cubs open a homestand against the Brewers. Ramon Ortiz gave up four runs on eight hits over six innings. Jonathon Mota had three hits and one RBIs.

Thursday’s suspended game will be made up Saturday. That game was stopped in the bottom of the fourth with Round Rock leading, 8-1.

* Angel Guzman threw 21 pitches, 14 for strikes, and struck out two over two innings for Class A Peoria Friday. It was his first game action since Sept. 8, 2009. He has been rehabbing from shoulder surgery, which he had in March 2010.

“It’s been a long time,” Guzman said. “It was good to be back and get some innings and be competing.”

The Chiefs scored five runs in the first. Greg Rohan and Anthony Giansanti each had two RBIs.

* Nick Struck threw five shutout innings in Tennessee’s 2-0, five-inning rain-shortened win over Carolina. Struck struckout six. He also drove in the game-winning RBI with a run-scoring single in the third. In two starts with Tennessee, he’s 1-0 with a 0.82 ERA and 10 Ks over 11 innings.

* Dae-Eun Rhee gave up five runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings in Daytona’s 12-1 loss to Lakeland, which scored seven runs in the eighth inning. Jake Optiz had three hits, his fifth multi-double game of the year.

— Carrie Muskat

3/23 Cubs roster moves

The Cubs trimmed four from the spring camp roster, including lefty Scott Maine and right-hander Justin Berg. Maine and Berg were optioned to Triple-A Iowa, while Todd Wellemeyer and Angel Guzman were both assigned to the Minor League camp. Guzman is rehabbing from right shoulder surgery and scheduled to throw in a game next week. Wellemeyer was a non-roster invitee. Trimming Maine most likely means the Cubs will have three lefties in the bullpen in John Grabow, James Russell and Sean Marshall. The moves bring the roster to 36 now.

* Also, catcher Max Ramirez was to get an MRI on his left wrist on Wednesday.

— Carrie Muskat

3/21 Cubs lineup & more

Aramis Ramirez was scratched from Monday’s lineup. He went home Saturday with a 102-degree fever. Jeff Baker was scheduled to start at third against the Angels.

* Kerry Wood and James Russell were to throw in a Minor League game at Fitch Park on Monday.

* Angel Guzman shifted his rehab to the Minor League camp. He was scheduled to throw batting practice Wednesday and could get into a game there in one week. He’s coming off right shoulder surgery, which forced him to miss all of 2010. “He’s certain he’s coming back,” Mike Quade said of Guzman.

* Infielder Augie Ojeda was scheduled to have a cortisone shot on Monday. He’s been limited because of back spasms.

Winds are gusting up to 35 mph in the Valley today. Here’s Monday’s lineup:

RF Fukudome
SS Castro
CF Byrd
1B Pena
C Soto
LF Soriano
3B Baker
2B Barney
P Cashner

— Carrie Muskat

3/2 Angel Guzman update

Angel Guzman threw 20 pitches in a live BP session on Wednesday, and was excited at the results. Guzman is trying to come back from right shoulder surgery, which he had one year ago. He was able to throw all his pitches — fastball, change up, cutter. It’s the first time he’s faced hitters since September 2009.

“I still need to throw more,” Guzman said of the process.

Said manager Mike Quade on Guzman: “Miracles can happen. Let’s see if he can’t get healthy and get back throwing the way he did.”

— Carrie Muskat

3/1 Cubs notebook

Tyler Colvin will make his first spring start at first base Friday when the Cubs travel to Surprise to face the Royals. Colvin has played outfield in games so far but the team wants to see if he can sub there.

* Outfielder Fernando Perez was sidelined with a bruised left shoulder injured during a diving catch on Monday. Lou Montanez will get more playing time while Perez heals. The concern was that Perez had hurt his left wrist, which required surgery in March 2009.

* Looking ahead, Carlos Silva will start Wednesday vs. the Brewers, Carlos Zambrano get his second start Thursday against the Rangers, and Matt Garza get his first start and second appearance on Friday vs. the Royals.

* The Cubs have made six errors in their first two games but manager Mike Quade hasn’t ordered extra drills.

“Whenever you make mistakes, there’s a concern,” Quade said. “The first week of the season, I’ll look at positives. Whether we win or lose, it is about the process. You hate losing but I looked at all the names I had down there that I was pleased with, whether it was at-bats or pitching or defense, in spite of the errors we made, and I left with a smile and that’s the main thing. When you start losing a lot of games because we’re sloppy from start to finish or our key guys aren’t swinging the bats, I’d be more alarmed.”

* Angel Guzman is on schedule to throw a live BP session on Wednesday. He underwent shoulder surgery one year ago.

“Miracles can happen,” Quade said of the right-hander, whose career has been interrupted by elbow and shoulder injuries. “Let’s see if he can’t get healthy and get back throwing the way he did.”

— Carrie Muskat

2/28 Cubs early notes

Here’s the lineup for Monday’s game vs. a split-squad Brewers team at HoHoKam Park:

CF Reed Johnson
SS Darwin Barney
RF Tyler Colvin
LF Alfonso Soriano
1B Carlos Pena
2B Jeff Baker
3B Marquez Smith
C Koyie Hill
P Randy Wells

Also slated to pitch are Andrew Cashner, Sean Marshall and Kerry Wood.

* If manager Mike Quade has his way, the Cubs won’t make any roster cuts until the off day, March 16. The team has four split squad days coming up, including March 6, March 12-13, and March 15. The first full squad workout for the Cubs’ Minor Leaguers will be March 10, with the first games there March 19.

* Asked if he would ever consider inserting his pitcher into a spot in the lineup other than ninth, Quade said no, although added, “you never say never.” He feels the worst hitter bats ninth. Just don’t tell Carlos Zambrano he said that.

* Colvin will also get a start in left field this week as well as first base. Colvin made two errors in Sunday’s game. Quade talked to outfield coach Bob Dernier about the miscues.

“Mistakes happen,” Quade said. “What concerns me are patterns. You make a mistake, address it and move on. If you make the same mistake over and over, then we’ll have an issue. It’s OK to make a mistake, but if it becomes repeated mistakes, I’m concerned. It was Game One yesterday, did we get sloppy? Absolutely. Did it make me mad? Yeah, it did. In a few weeks, I would probably have a different approach. Colvin established himself enough to me last year to deserve a little time.”

* Angel Guzman threw 30 pitches in a side session Sunday and is on schedule to face hitters in a live BP session Wednesday. Guzman is coming back from right shoulder surgery one year ago.

— Carrie Muskat

2/16 Cubs notebook

Cubs pitcher Angel Guzman is throwing about 60 percent in his side sessions. Guzman, coming back from right shoulder surgery, has had three sessions and is being limited to fastballs and changeups. But, he has begun throwing his cutter off flat ground. The goal is to have Guzman face hitters in mid March.

* Cubs GM Jim Hendry spent Wednesday touring the Diamondbacks’ and Rockies’ new Spring Training facility in Scottsdale. The Cubs are committed to building a new complex in Mesa, but it’s not expected to be ready until Spring Training in 2014.

* Right-hander Robert Coello, acquired Tuesday from the Red Sox, was expected in Cubs camp on Thursday.

* Asked if he takes supplements, Cubs manager Mike Quade said: “I just know that orange juice and V-8, that’s the supplements that are getting me through now.”

— Carrie Muskat

2/14 Cubs notebook – UPDATED

Here’s an updated notebook:

* Angel Guzman threw off the mound for the third time Monday since undergoing surgery on his right shoulder. Guzman, who has a 3.15 career ERA in 74 relief appearances, will hopefully be able to pitch in a simulated game by mid March.

“It’s a long shot,” manager Mike Quade said. “He’s here, he’ll work, you know he’ll do that, and modern medicine is unbelievable. A quick Tommy John, and you’re throwing 94 to 98 [mph]. If he gets involved in this sometime, someday, it’ll be great. Right now, it’s a long way off.”

* Carlos Silva went home Monday with a 103-degree fever. It’s early. He was slated to throw off the mound on Tuesday at Fitch Park. Others scheduled to throw include Braden Looper, Casey Coleman, Trey McNutt, Thomas Diamond, Todd Wellemeyer, Randy Wells, Andrew Cashner, Kerry Wood, Justin Berg, Jay Jackson and Marcos Mateo.

* Quade made sure to talk to Tyler Colvin on Monday. On Sunday, Quade said the Cubs want to see Colvin at first base, but hadn’t talked to the youngster first. “It’ll be more than just a glimpse,” Quade said of Colvin’s playing time at first this spring. “He’ll play some games over there.” Carlos Pena is the everyday first baseman but the Cubs need to find out whether they can count on Colvin as a backup at first if necessary. Jeff Baker is the only backup.

* James Russell threw off the mound Monday. He’s a candidate for the rotation, and if he made it, would be the only lefty. If it doesn’t work, Russell can easily be inserted back in the bullpen. Pitching coach Mark Riggins has pitchers throwing in groups of four, and is having the sessions filmed for review. Quade stayed away.

“I don’t want to be around when these guys are throwing sides right out of the chute,” Quade said. “You ask guys to come to camp, take their time, get ready to compete for the games. You’re not going to make the club today. [You might think] ‘You know what, the skipper’s around, he’s watching on the side,’ and they don’t need that. The veteran guys, it probably doesn’t affect.”

* When Quade was managing the Cubs’ Triple-A Iowa team, he could tell how the big league team was doing by listening to Ron Santo on the radio. Quade didn’t need to know the score, but could tell by Santo’s tone.

“We’ll miss him and let’s win one for him, and I’m not talking about Opening Day,” Quade said.

* Quade made a new friend when he tossed a ball to a woman walking a dog near the Fitch Park facility.

— Carrie Muskat

12/15 Non-roster invitees

The Cubs have added first baseman Bryan LaHair and outfielder Brad Snyder to the list of non-roster invitees for Spring Training. They join pitchers Angel Guzman and Scott Rice; infielders Scott Moore and Bobby Scales; and outfielder Jim Adduci.

Both LaHair and Snyder are playing in the Dominican Republic this winter. LaHair is batting .300 in six games with Estrellas and Snyder is hitting .306 in 13 games for Licey.

— Carrie Muskat